A thought-provoking, heart-rending science fiction/romance mashup.



From the Spectacle-Smith series , Vol. 1

Young love across the multiverse.

In mid-1990s Texas, Ludo Carre, the son of a mechanic father and military police mother, meets Arlo Quinones at a barbecue. The chemistry is immediate, and the two young teens bond over a video game. As they get older, they begin dating until Ludo’s family is transferred to another base a few hours away. Like many relationships, theirs does not stand the challenge of distance. Years later, Ludo’s family returns to Arlo’s base, and he learns that she is missing. Desperate, he begins to search for her. Ludo learns that Arlo has become unmoored from time and can exist simultaneously within different timelines. As he struggles to understand, he discovers that maybe the only way to be with her is to let her go. With cinematically styled, full-color illustrations, this offering deftly captures the angst of adolescent love and the force and volatility of teenage emotions. While readers may easily develop a visceral connection to Arlo and Ludo, certain details are conspicuously absent, such as why Arlo can time-hop (although a possible military connection is hinted). As the narrative jumps among timelines, sometimes there are explicit cues of a temporal shift, other times not, demanding a close reading. Quibbles aside, this is a fun, fast-paced ride that should leave its audience ruminating about time, coincidence, and love. Ludo presents white; Arlo is cued as Latinx.

A thought-provoking, heart-rending science fiction/romance mashup. (Graphic science fiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62010-731-7

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2020

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Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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A heartwarming, funny story filled with richness and complexity.


Autumn loving, they had a blast; autumn loving, it happened too fast.

Having worked together in the Succotash Hut at the pumpkin patch for years, best friends and co-workers Deja and Josiah, who goes by Josie, ditch work and find love on their last night, heading out in search of Josie’s unrequited love, the girl who works in the Fudge Shoppe. Deja, a witty and outgoing girl who attracts—and is attracted to—boys and girls alike, is set on helping the shy, rule-following Josie move out of his comfort zone before they part ways for college. Deja encourages Josie to take a chance and talk to the girl of his dreams instead of pining for her from afar. Not to be dissuaded by his reticence, Deja leads Josie to multiple stops in the Patch in search of the almost-impossible-to-find Fudge Girl, with every stop taking them in a new direction and providing a new treat. As they journey through the Patch—chasing a snack-stealing rascal, dodging a runaway goat, and snacking their way through treats from fudge to Freeto pie—they explore the boundaries of their friendship. Visually bright and appealing in autumnal reds, oranges, and yellows, the art enhances this endearing picture of teenage love. Deja is a beautiful, plus-sized black girl, and Josie is a handsome, blond white boy.

A heartwarming, funny story filled with richness and complexity. (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-162-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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